Refried Beans

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

This recipe and photo are from


  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
  • 9 cups water
  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Spicy Bean Burritos


May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. –George Carlin.

I got this yummy recipe from my friend Julie.


  •  2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (or garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • dash cayenne pepper or hot chili powder
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (or water with chicken bullion in it)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Cook until boiling and mixed well (about 10 minutes).   Serve on flour tortilla.  May serve with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, chopped green onions, and low fat sour cream.   *I also like to slice up some onions and green peppers – and cook them over the stove until done – and add it to the bean mixture.    **I like to just squeeze a fresh lemon over everything – then add  a little sour cream.  It is delicious!

Glazed Carrots








Psst! Carrots! Carrots!  –Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables


Photo and recipe from


  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (optional)

Slice the carrots into 1/8 to 1/4-inch disks or diagonally. Try to cut the pieces so they are about the same size as each other, so they cook evenly.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat, then add carrots. Toss to combine and reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle salt over carrots and toss again. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add the sugar and white pepper (if using) and toss to combine.  Add the stock.  Cover the pot and cook for another 3 minutes.

Uncover the pot and increase heat to medium-high. Toss the carrots once or twice to keep them moving, and cook away most of the liquid. Turn off the heat and taste. Add more salt and sugar to taste.

Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish.

Asparagus with Lemon

I love this recipe!  Click here for original source.


  • 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
  • 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest – freshly grated lemon rind
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 This recipe is so good.  Be sure not to overcook your asparagus.

Wash your asparagus thoroughly and snap off the tough bottoms. Cut asparagus stems into 1 to 2 inch pieces, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the asparagus and bring water to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain water and pour asparagus into a bowl.  Add olive oil, Parmesan cheese and grated lemon rind.  Toss until asparagus is evenly covered and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!

This recipe serves approximately 4 adults.

Asparagus Parmesan


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. –Winston Churchill


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus spears, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or to desired firmness. Drain off excess oil, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Carmelized Green Beans

I got this recipe from 

  • 1 lb. (actually, just a little bit more)…maybe 1 1/8 lb.) fresh green beans
    1/2 lb. bacon
    1/2 red onion, sliced
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    olive oil
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
    Lots of freshly-ground pepper

Begin frying the bacon in a large skillet. Start boiling a large pot of water. Place beans in a colander and rinse them well. Then snap the ends off and snap them in half.

Prepare the sauce by mixing sugar, soy sauce, and salt in a small bowl.  Make sure your onions are sliced, garlic is pressed (or minced).

Remove bacon from pan and drain on a paper towel. If you feel like it, you can crumble it now or wait until it’s cooled off a little. Pour bacon drippings out of pan (use an empty tin can like an OJ can).  Return a couple tablespoons of bacon drippings to the pan. Otherwise, just use some olive oil and heat pan to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add onions and garlic. Give them a quick stir and then add beans to boiling water. Place colander in a clean sink. Boil for one minute; you’re not cooking them until they’re done, just blanching them to take the edge off. Meanwhile, stir the onions and garlic so they don’t scorch. After one minute, drain beans in the colander in the sink.  Once beans have been drained, add them to the onions and garlic. Stir fry 2-3 more minutes.  Give your sauce a quick stir and then pour on top of the beans. Keep stir-frying until the beans get kind of glazy for another 2 minutes.

Add crumbled bacon and lots of freshly-ground pepper to the beans. Keep stir frying until the sauce sticks to the beans and the bacon. Transfer to a serving dish and allow to stand a few minutes so the beans cool down a bit and the glaze thickens up a little.

Cheesy Broccoli Rice

Serves 6-8.

1 lb pkg. frozen chopped broccoli

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 jar Cheez Whiz

1 cube butter (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced onion

1 1/3 cup Minute Rice (uncooked)

Sprinkle the frozen broccoli, rice, celery and onion in a 13×9 baking dish. Melt the butter, Cheez Whiz, and mushroom soup in a medium saucepan. Pour over the other ingredients. Mix well. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until rice is done.

This recipe is a great side dish but also can be made the main dish if you add a pound of diced cooked chicken breast.

Rice with Summer Squash

1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
In a saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook carrots and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 13 minutes.
Stir in the yellow squash and zucchini. Cover and simmer 6-10 minutes longer or until rice and vegetables are tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 lbs. fresh green beans steamed
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (or more if desired)
  • French’s Dried Onions or 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
  • Coarse ground pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream.  Add steamed green beans to the mixture and stir to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. Sprinkle with French’s Dried Onions or the crumbled buttery round crackers.  Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.


Squash Casserole

April Smith shared this recipe with me when our families shared Thanksgiving Dinner in Florida.


  • 4 lbs yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup water (for cooking)
  • 1 med onion
  • 1/2 stick margarine
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 1 tbsp salt

Slice squash and onion in saucepan. Cook in water over medium heat about 20 min. Drain. Mash and add other ingredients, place in baking dish and cover top with 1 cup grated American cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.